With or without beards

April 11, 2013

I wonder why false hair in different forms is considered ridiculous on men but not on women.

Is it because vanity is ridiculous in a man but not in a woman? Or perhaps because women are ridiculous anyways, so a little more makes no difference?

Men have the options to use false hair on the head, or in the face. It’s not like false moustaches and beards don’t exist, it’s just that they’re only OK to use at masquerades and in 1930´s detective stories, as a disguise. ImageWigs to hide baldness are laughed at if you’re a man. On a woman it’s expected.

I think the vanity-angle is the most useful here. Men are allowed to, and even expected to, look good, but only in a “natural” way, such as nice clothes, clean skin and hair, facial shaving and after shave. Maybe even some hair wax. Working out is ok. A well-trained body on a man is usually considered attractive, and one of the few vanity traits that doesn’t evoke laughter or anger, as long as it’s not too excessive.

Since men are OK, no matter how they look, going out of their way to look better is just stupid. Women, however, need their looks to matter in other areas, and thus vanity is to be expected from them.

Perhaps on a man it’s obvious how superficial the faked look looks, while on women we’re so used to seeing it that we don’t notice.

Image

Perhaps the false facial hair isn’t of good enough quality to look like the real thing, and this is the reason why it’s only used for farce?  But then again there are false eye-lashes so long that they’re obviously not real and that doesn’t seem to matter. On a woman, that is.

I don’t wish at all for men to have the constant worry over looks, weight and aging that seem to take up so much of women’s time and minds. I do, however, feel sorry for men for being considered so ridiculous when  trying to look good and for having such few options in terms of looks.

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Hairy men, pink women

November 9, 2012

In one of my work places, the men are encouraged to grow a mustache during the month of November. Apparently the company will donate money to research on prostate cancer, the sum depending on how many men enroll in the campaign and grow some hair.


This got me thinking about how extremely laid back the view on men’s body hair, and  appearance in general, is.

Now, I have noticed that mustaches are growing (!) back into fashion among young men, so perhaps not all men feel stupid wearing one. I would assume, though, that those who were children in the late sixties and early seventies connect mustaches with their dads and their dads friends = not sexy.

My point in this is that it’s obviously completely OK to ask men to look ridiculous for a good cause, it is also OK to ask men to grow visual body hair although it is out of general fashion. Women, however, are expected to always look good and pleasing. Not taking care of your looks is in fact quite often seen as a sign of depression. And body hair (except for the kind that grows on top of your head) is for some reason viewed as not pleasing and thus taken away. It’s not like women don’t have hair in their faces, under their arms or on their legs- they’re just expected to take it away whereas men have the option to just leave it there.


In the breast cancer campaigns I’ve seen, participants are asked to wear a small pink bow. The idea of asking women to grow some body hair seems for some reason extremely unlikely. Unshaved armpits for breast cancer? No? Hairy legs for uterus cancer? (I’m leaving the most obvious out here since private parts are usually kept, well private, and thus can’t be used for showing support in the office).

Of course, none of this is news. Still I can’t help being surprised time after time, of the absurdity of it all.